ATHENS, Greece – Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Tuesday that "there should not be hasty movements that will lead us to a confrontation" over his country's nuclear program and promised "every possible cooperation" if the issue was dealt with by the IAEA, rather than by the U.N. Security Council.
"There is time for diplomacy, the basic body that must solve this issue is the International Atomic Energy Agency," Ali Larijani said during a visit to Athens.
Sending Iran's nuclear file to the Security Council was "a step in the wrong direction," he added.
Larijani was meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, a day after a series of meetings in neighboring Turkey that are apparently part of an Iranian push to boost support in the region, as tension grows with the United States.
Greece, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, has called for a diplomatic solution to the problem.
Larijani again denied on Tuesday that Iran wanted nuclear weapons.
"We don't intend to make nuclear weapons, that is one of the lies (U.S. President George W.) Bush has said," he said. "We believe such weapons are catastrophic for global peace."
At the Security Council, Alijani said, "some countries are behaving more realistically and others are trying to create headaches."
"If the Americans had not insisted, the matter could have been solved within the IAEA. We hope they don't repeat the mistakes of the past," he added.
China on Monday expressed concern that a proposed U.N. resolution to curb Iran's nuclear program could lead to a new war, and called for the elimination of any reference to possible future sanctions or military action against Tehran.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday that "10 to 14 days" could be needed to agree on a U.N. resolution.